Instant Pot Misir Wat is a healthy Ethiopian stew made using lentils, vegetables and an amazing spice mix called Berbere. The flavour of this stew is simply out of the world! Misir Wat is said to be one of the most famous Vegetarian dishes in Ethiopian Cuisine. Perfect for a quick lunch or weeknight dinner.

Instant Pot Misir Wat

Wat‘ is an Ethiopian stew or curry that is usually prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables along with spice mixtures such as berbere. I have cooked this stew in butter and have used potato, spinach and bell pepper along with red lentils(masoor dal in India) and berbere spice. This is a simple one-pot recipe that can be put together in less than 30 minutes using Instant Pot. Also, this is a plant-based, filling dish!

Instant Pot Misir Wat

I love Ethiopian cuisine and always wanted to try my hand at some Vegetarian, Ethiopian recipes. This may not be an authentic way of making Misir Wat. I have tried to create a quick and simple version. At the same time, I have incorporated my style by adding a bunch of vegetables. I am a vegetable lover, so I thought, why not?

Ethiopian Food

I Love Indian Food. I think twice to experiment with other cuisines. My husband is the total opposite. He loves trying out a variety of cuisines and encourages me to replicate them at home too. One of his best picks, I would say, is Ethiopian Cuisine. Almost similar to our Indian Cuisine! It is flavourful, has the right amount of spice and also has a number of vegetarian options to try. These factors were enough for me to give it a try. And I loved it. I am someone who enjoys spicy food.
So, Berbere Spice has become my favourite now.
In this recipe, I have tried to create a very balanced flavour profile with not much spice! Hopefully, you will like the outcome 🙂

Key Ingredients for Instant Pot Misir Wat

Berbere Spice – The key to making this meal so tasty and delicious is Ethiopian berbere spice. I have used store-bought Berbere Spice in this recipe. But you can try making it at home. It is pretty simple to make. The flavour profile of this Instant Pot Misir Wat gets elevated because of this spice blend. Else, the lentil stew would be very bland. You can try this recipe for homemade Berbere Spice.

Instant Pot Misir Wat

Lentils – Traditionally, Red lentils are used in this recipe. If you are unable to source it, you can use split yellow lentils in its place too.

Butter – Authentic Misir Wat uses Ethiopian spiced clarified butter called Niter Kibbeh. If you can source it, please do use it. I have used plain butter in this recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally, Misir Wat is eaten with injera/Ethiopian flatbread. But, since I am not a big fan of it, I served this delicious stew with some rice. The combination was just too good! It is a complete meal with rice, lentil and vegetables!

Step by step Instructions

Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it gets ready, add some butter, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cumin seeds.

Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the chopped ginger, garlic and finely chopped red onion. Saute well till onions get cooked.

Then add the berbere salt, mix well and cook for few seconds. Add tomato paste ( or puree of 1 tomato )

Then, add the chopped bell pepper and potato. Saute for 30 seconds.

Add the red lentils. I soaked the lentils in water for 15 mins, then drained and added it to the Instant Pot.

Then, add 2 cups vegetable broth and close the lid.

Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Quick-release the pressure after 5 minutes. Open and press the saute button. Add in the spinach leaves. Let it simmer for 3 minutes or until the spinach leaves have wilted.

Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Serve this Instant Pot Ethiopian Misir Wat with rice!

For anyone looking to try a different cuisine, this is a must try! Especially if you are an Indian Food lover, you can definitely relate to it. This spicy, flavourful Stew will make you eat more. 🙂


Recommended Products

Instant Pot

Berbere Spice

Instant Pot Misir Wat

Instant Pot Misir Wat

Spicy, Flavourful Ethiopian Lentil stew filled with vegetables, lentil and Ethiopian Spice Blend.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Keyword: Ethiopian Cuisine, Ethiopian Lentil Stew, Ethiopian Vegetarian Stew, Instant Pot Ethiopian Stew, Instant Pot Misir Wat, Misir Wot recipe, Recipe under 30 mins, Vegetarian Stew
Servings: 3 people
Author: Gayathri Vijayakumar


  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 1 Cardamom
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Pink onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 3 tsp Berbere spice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Red lentils / masoor dal
  • 2 cups Vegetable broth
  • 1 Potato peeled and chopped into medium cubes
  • 1/2 cup Bell Pepper chopped into medium size pieces
  • 20 Spinach Leaves
  • Cilantro / Parsley to garnish


  • Wash and soak the red lentils for 15 mins. Soaking is optional but I prefer doing it.
  • Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the butter. Once melted, add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, cumin seeds. Once cumin seeds splutter, add the chopped ginger, garlic, red onion.
  • Saute the onion, ginger and garlic until well cooked. Then add the tomato paste, salt and berbere spice. Let it cook for few seconds.
  • Add the potatoes and bell pepper. Saute for 30 seconds till the spice gets coated well.
  • Add red lentils and stir for 30 seconds. Then add the vegetable broth and close the lid.
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position.
  • Quick release the pressure after 5 minutes and then press the saute button.
  • Add in the spinach leaves. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the spinach leaves have wilted.
  • Adjust salt and spice. Garnish it with cilantro or parsley. 
  • Serve hot with Rice or Bread.


  1. You can use water in place of vegetable broth.
  2. Adjust spice levels to taste. Start with 1 tsp of Berbere Spice and gradually increase according to your taste. 
  3. Instead of tomato paste, you can puree 1 medium tomato and add it to this recipe. 
  4. You can omit the vegetables and use just the lentils.